24 Activities for Children with ADHD to Help Build Skills

Engaging in activities tailored for children with ADHD can channel their abundant energy into positive outlets while enhancing skills and sensory experiences.

ADHD, a common neurodevelopmental disorder, manifests differently in each child, involving impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention. While many experience hyperactivity, not all do. Managing their energy levels can be challenging for parents and caregivers.

Engaging activities tailored for children with ADHD need not be elaborate. Simple options can be as captivating and beneficial as more complex challenges.

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Choosing Activities for ADHD Kids | ADHD Activities List | FAQs | Conclusion

Tips for choosing activities for children with ADHD

When suggesting activities for children with ADHD, it’s crucial to prioritize both their enjoyment and skill development. According to Dr. Stephanie Palmer, a licensed clinical psychologist from Bee Cave, Texas, empowering activities that encourage movement, organization, and time management are highly beneficial. Dr. Palmer emphasizes the importance of catering to the unique needs and preferences of children and teenagers with ADHD, as it fosters their development and enhances their well-being. Additionally, Dr. Tamara Soles, a child psychologist and parenting coach from Montreal, Canada, suggests incorporating nature and sensory experiences into activities to provide a well-rounded approach that stimulates various senses and promotes engagement. This holistic approach not only aids in skill-building but also ensures that children with ADHD find joy and fulfillment in their activities.

24 activities for children with ADHD

Children vary in their interests and abilities, especially at different developmental stages. Understanding this diversity can help tailor activities to better suit each child’s preferences and needs.

Young children

“I find sensory play particularly beneficial for young kids,” Soles suggests. “It helps children with ADHD regulate sensory input and enhance focus.”

Sensory activities engage the senses—smell, sight, taste, touch, and hearing. Here are some ideas:

  1. Modeling play dough or clay: Shape and mold with homemade or store-bought play dough.
  2. Shaping kinetic sand: Provide kinetic sand for building and molding.
  3. Finger painting: Create artwork with different colors and papers.
  4. Exploring sensory bins: Fill tubs with items of various colors, shapes, and textures.
  5. Playing with water: Enjoy water play with toys or water-based markers.
  6. Nature scavenger hunt: Search for rocks, trees, or animals outdoors.
  7. Outdoor playground: Swing, climb, and explore at a playground.
  8. Gardening: Dig and plant seeds or plants together.
  9. Scented coloring: Use scented markers for coloring with added aroma.
  10. Nature walk: Observe and discuss the surroundings during a walk.
  11. Obstacle course: Create indoor or outdoor challenges.
  12. Puzzles: Solve puzzles together.
  13. Cardboard fort: Build and decorate a fort with cardboard or create one for a pet.

For a calming bedtime routine, try storytime yoga. “Parents can blend storytelling with simple yoga poses tailored to their child’s interests and abilities,” says Soles. “Yoga helps improve attention, concentration, relaxation, and body awareness in children, just like it does for adults.”

School-age children and teens

As children grow older, they crave independence and enjoy tackling activities on their own. For teens with ADHD, physical activities are key to releasing energy and boosting cognitive function.

Here are engaging activities for older children and teens with ADHD:

  1. Knitting and sewing: Teach them to craft items like hats or scarves.
  2. Indoor adventure centers: Explore rock climbing, zip lines, and trampolining.
  3. Friendly competition: Challenge them to races or memory games.
  4. Shared goals: Train together for a charity race or cycling event.
  5. Performance art: Enroll them in dance or theater classes.
  6. Group games: Play tag, hide-and-seek, or touch football.
  7. Cooking: Let them choose and cook a meal.
  8. Acts of kindness: Write letters or make gifts for loved ones.
  9. Building projects: Create forts using tools like hammers and nails.
  10. Game design: Invent a new game for family fun.
  11. Ball games: Toss a ball around to burn off excess energy.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best activity for an ADHD child?

The ideal activity for a child with ADHD is something they love doing that also helps develop important skills.

Which activity is most appropriate for a child with ADHD?

The most suitable activity for a child with ADHD is something they’re interested in and matches their current developmental stage and abilities.

How do you tire out a child with ADHD?

Hyperactivity is a common symptom of ADHD, stemming from changes in brain function and structure. Despite engaging in physical activity, children may still exhibit hyperactive behaviors.

How do you keep an ADHD child busy?

Keeping a list of activities for a child with ADHD can ensure a range of options are available to them throughout the day.

Takeaway

For certain children with ADHD, hyperactivity and impulsivity lead to constant movement and energy.

Proposing activities that promote movement, skill-building, and sensory stimulation aids in engaging them and managing ADHD effectively.

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Choosing Activities for ADHD Kids | ADHD Activities List | FAQs | Conclusion